Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Monday, April 6, 1998

Release #153-98

Contact: Colleen Roche (212) 788-2958 or Dwight Williams (212) 788-2972


Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today hosted a Gracie Mansion reception in honor of the New York Police & Fire Widows & Children's Benefit Fund. The Fund has raised nearly $5 million to benefit the families of police officers and firefighters who have died in the line of duty. Joining the Mayor at this evening's event were Police Commissioner Howard Safir, Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, former Met and Benefit Fund Chairman Daniel J. "Rusty" Staub and Benefit Fund President Stephen J. Dannhauser, managing partner of the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

"Each time we come together to honor the heroes of the Police and Fire Departments, we are reminded that serving as a firefighter and police officer is more than a job, it is a sacrifice and a lifetime commitment," Mayor Giuliani said. "It takes an extraordinary person to commit to a career in public service. Police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line so that our children will grow up in a safer, better world.

"When Rusty Staub founded the Police & Fire Widows & Children's Benefit Fund in 1985, he understood that when tragedy strikes the family of a police officer or a firefighter, it is important for New Yorkers to step forward and help those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this City," the Mayor continued. "The Benefit Fund ensures that the families of our City's fallen heroes are never alone in their time of need. I want to thank Rusty Staub, Stephen Dannhauser and the supporters of the Benefit Fund for their wonderful work on behalf of New York City's Finest and Bravest. And I urge all New Yorkers to contribute to this worthwhile cause."

Commissioner Safir said, "We can never make up for the loss suffered by the widows and children of police officers and firefighters who have given their lives for this City, but we can show them that New Yorkers do care and want to help. The widows and children are heroes in their own right and they deserve our support. On behalf of the 38,000 members of the Police Department and their families I want to thank the Benefit Fund and it's supporters."

Commissioner Von Essen said, "The generous support of those who participate every year in this special evening is recognized and appreciated by every firefighter and police officer in this City. The treatment of widows and orphans in such a wonderful manner is an inspiration to every uniformed employee of this City. I thank Stephen Dannhauser and Rusty Staub and the entire committee for not forgetting those who need this support the most."

The New York Police & Fire Widows & Children's Benefit Fund, established by Rusty Staub in 1985, assists the families of over 500 New York City firefighters and police officers. The Fund provides $10,000 to surviving family members following a line of duty death and provides $1,500 a year to each family thereafter.

Individuals wishing to contribute can send a check or money order, made out to the New York Police & Fire Widows & Children's Benefit Fund to:

Ranieri & Company
50 Charles Lindbergh Boulevard
Suite 500
Uniondale, NY 11553-3600

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